MSC, Gov. Ridge Highlight Industry’s Commitment to the Community, Transparency

Canonsburg, PA – Aligned with the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s (MSC) Guiding Principles, former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, industry leaders, and executives from MarkWest – one of nearly 170 MSC member companies – discussed a broad range of shale gas development related issues yesterday with elected officials, underscoring the industry’s commitment to transparency. Subsequent to the constructive round-table discussion, the group toured several MarkWest facilities, including a compressor station and gas processing facility.

Here’s what they’re saying about yesterday’s event, as well as the MSC’s support for additional water testing measures aimed at ensuring environmental safety:

  • “Marcellus Shale Coalition Calls for Openness”: The Marcellus Shale Coalition began planning Thursday’s public roundtable with former Gov. Tom Ridge and local leaders weeks before Monday’s accident and fire at one of co-host MarkWest Energy Partner’s Washington County compressor stations. … Mr. Ridge told the group — which included local state representatives, township supervisors and aides to congressional representatives — that the coalition hopes that even “if there are missteps, acknowledge it, correct it.” (Post-Gazette, 3/4/11)
  • Gas Exploration Industry Reps Tour Local Plants”: “Industry representatives, led by former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, took a tour Thursday afternoon of something called a compressor station, where natural gas is separated before processing. John Mollenkopt, of the company MarkWest, says they have taken steps to contain noise and air pollution. “We want to try very hard to put the most environmentally sound facilities in,” Mollenkopt said. “We want to keep noise down, keep nuisance down.” (KDKA-TV, 3/3/11)

“Former Gov. Tom Ridge speaks with state Rep. Mark Mustio at MarkWest’s Brigich Compressor Station in Chartiers  during a tour of the facility for lawmakers, industry officials and media on Thursday.” [Courtesy Michael Henninger/Post-Gazette]

  • “We’re Here to be Neighbors”: The natural gas firm and Marcellus Shale Coalition members took lawmakers and reporters on a tour of MarkWest’s expanding gas processing sites in Washington County. The company is doubling the size of its gas processing plant in Chartiers and planning to add to its 10 compressor stations in the county. … “Here, to be good neighbors, the neighbors don’t want to listen to a compressor station,” Rayburn said about the metallic whir that comes from the 12- to 14-foot fan blades in the station. “So we’re willing to make the investment here to keep all of that enclosed.” … One goal is to promote best practices, [industry officials] said. “We are not here to dodge any questions,” said Kathryn Klaber, coalition president. “We are not here to skirt around issues. We’re here to hit them head on.” (Tribune-Review, 3/4/11)
  • Ridge: “You Can’t Eliminate the Risk” of Energy Development: “It’s been a choppy couple of weeks for the natural gas industry, and former Gov. Tom Ridge tried to pour oil on troubled waters at a roundtable discussion at Southpointe Thursday afternoon. In his role as spokesman for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a natural gas industry advocacy group, Ridge sought to assure reporters and local elected officials in a ballroom at Hilton Garden Inn that drilling in the region was safe and environmentally sound. He insisted that, in the natural gas industry, “we like clean water, we like clean air,” and that solar and wind technology would not generate sufficient energy to meet the country’s needs “for another two or three generations.” (Observer-Reporter, 3/4/11)

MSC Backs Heightened, Common Sense Water Testing Measures

  • “We’d Absolutely Support Additional Testing”: Kathryn Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, agreed that the water supplies should be tested to put public concerns to rest. “We’d absolutely support additional testing,” Klaber said. “It’s important to know the levels that might be entering water supplies.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/1/11)
  • MSC “Committed to Being an Important Part of That Process”: [MSC’s Kathryn] Klaber says the industry favors a new round of testing even though it believes that radioactive materials are being removed to a safe level from drilling water before it’s discharged into the waterways. “But absolutely we need to do additional work downstream to make sure that the water is tested and the industry is committed to being an important part of that process,” said Klaber. (KDKA-TV, 3/3/11)